AK House Majority
The 26th Alaska State Legislature, 2009 - 2010  Print Friendly Version 
Press Release: House Majority Press

Alaska House of Representatives Republican Majority Ajournment Book

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Alaska State House Majority Organization
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Ak Majority Organization

Posted: May 25, 2010
Contact: Will Vandergriff, 465-5284, House Majority Press Secretary


May 12, 2010

Dear Colleague,

This 2010 Adjournment Package is intended to help you report back to your districts and constituents about the Majority Caucus's successes during the 2010 legislative session. Inside the package you'll find detailed breakdowns of the budget bills, highlights of priority Caucus legislation, a breakdown by member and committee, and a comprehensive list of legislation passed by the 26th Alaska Legislature.

I believe that our accomplishments will speak for themselves. We saved first, fully repaying the Constitutional Budget Reserve Fund and Statutory Budget Reserve Fund; set aside another $1.1 billion to forward-fund K-12 education; and, leave the Capitol with $12 billion in savings for future legislatures.

Our hard work on bringing natural gas to Alaskans will hopefully come to fruition in the near-term thanks to House Bill 369; Alaskans will be safer thanks to funding for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the governor's crime package, and other crime and courts bills; and, voters will be better served with voter initiative and campaign finance reform.

We came to Juneau to uphold the Constitution, advocate for State's Rights, pass the budgets, and stand up for our districts and communities. It's my belief that we have.

I hope this document can help you provide the public with information highlighting the work that we accomplished as a Caucus, and by working together with the House Minority and Senate.

Sincerely,


Rep. Mike Chenault
Speaker of the House


Table of Contents


    1. Message from the Speaker of the House


    2. Table of Contents


Budget Legislation

    3. Operating Budget


    4. Capital Budget & G.O. Bond Package


    5. Supplemental & Budget Clarification Project


    6. Two-year Budget Authorization


Priority Legislation

    7. In-State Gas - HB 369


    8. Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage - HB 280


    9. Energy Policy - HB 306


    10. Resource Development

        AIDEA Bonding - HB 90

        Oil & Gas Taxes / Credits - SB 305 & SB 309


    11. Restoring Voter Trust

        Open and Transparent Initiative Act - HB 36

        Campaign Disclaimer & Disclosure


    12. Valuing our Visitor Industry

        Cruise Passenger Vessel Tax Reduction - SB 312

        Rental Car Agency Fee Disclosure - SB 287

        Supporting Alaska's Tourism Marketing Efforts


Bills by Topic

    13. Protecting Victims & Alaska Families


    14. Advocating for Alaska's State's Rights


    15. Transportation, Infrastructure and Lands


    16. Honoring our Veterans


    17. Education


    18. Fiscal Policy & the Economy


    19. Business


Passed Legislation

    20. Passed 1st Session Legislation by Representative


    21. Passed 2nd Session Legislation by Representative


    22. Passed 1st Session Legislation by Committee


    23. Passed 2nd Session Legislation by Committee


Signed Into Law

    24. Signed into Law 1st Session Legislation by Representative


    25. Signed into Law 1st Session Legislation by Committee


Appendices

    26. Appendix A: Legislation Passed Both House and Senate - 1st Session


    27. Appendix B: Legislation Passed by House - 1st Session

    28. Appendix C: Legislation Passed Both House and Senate - 2nd Session


    29. Appendix D: Legislation Passed by House - 2nd Session


Attachments

    30. 26th Legislature Adournment Book Adobe PDF Version - 46PP:878KB


Budget Legislation


The FY 11 Statewide Operating Budget - HB 300
& The FY 11 Mental Health Operating Budget -
HB 302


Statewide TotalsGovernor's Amended
Unrestricted General$4.506B$4.457B
Designated General$706.8M$708.8M
Other State Funds$1.105B$1.099B
Federal Receipts$1.941B$1.941B
Total:$8.259B*$1.941B
* Includes $64.9M in new legislation and $10.7M in operating expenses within SB230 - the Capital Budget (figures courtesy Leg. Finance Adjournment Reports)

The Finance Committee conducted a careful and responsible review of the governor's proposal, with an eye towards finding efficiencies and examining non-discretionary and travel funding requests. The House forwarded a budget to the Senate that cut $34 million from the governor's amended request, including a 10-percent across the board cut to nonsafety or health-related state agency travel.


The budget bill advanced by the conference committee reflects a $75.5 million increase due to new legislation and operating expenses carried in the FY 11 capital budget bill.


House Finance Committee Operating Budget Co-Chair Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, says the maintenance-level budget reflects the fiscal circumstances on the state's horizon, and points to formula-driven programs like Medicaid reimbursements and others for the growth.

Ak St Legislature Majority

Ak St Legislature MajorityWe were able to pass a frugal, benevolent and humble FY 11 budget that, when you add it all up, reflects a responsible spending plan and allows the state to live within its means.
~ Rep. Mike Hawker, R-AnchorageAk St Legislature Majority

Ak St Legislature Majority
The bills as advanced by the Legislature cuts .3% from the governor's FY 11 request.

Operating Budget (GF in millions) by agency or dept.
Administration$302.9M(-.3%)
Commerce$211.4M(3.3%)
Corrections$258.1M(.9%)
Education$1.447B(.1%)
Environmental Conservation$77.64M(.2%)
Fish and Game$193.4M(.2%)
Governor$31.33M(-10%)
Health & Social Services$2.258B(-.6%)
Labor$193.7M(-.4%)
Law$88.32M(-.9%)
Military & Veterans Affairs$49.78M(.6%)
Natural Resources$148.8M(-.7%)
Public Safety$182.0M(.2%)
Revenue$310.7M(-.4%)
Transportation$565.7M(1.9%)
University of Alaska$858.1M(.1%)
Alaska Court System$99.38M(-1.1%)
Legislature$69.67M(-2.1%)



The FY 11 Statewide Capital Budget - SB 230
HB 424 - General Obligation Bond Package


Statewide totals (after passage)Statewide totals (from Senate)
General Funds$1.489B*General Funds$1.230B
Other Funds$556.6M*Other Funds$532.9M
Federal Receipts$1.029BFederal Receipts$1.012B
Total:$3.0749BTotal:$2.630B
* Includes $75.5M for the Anchorage State Crime Lab and $397.2M in general obligation bonds proposed in HB 424 (figures courtesy Leg. Finance Adjournment Reports)

The Finance Committee received a bill from the Senate which already eclipsed the governor's stated request by 44-percent, with more than $850 million in additions from the governor's proposal in SB 230. The House added an additional $410 million, including legacy and anchor projects like the Anchorage State Crime Lab - switching it from certificates of participation to general fund - and the proposed Port Mackenzie Rail Extension.


House Finance Committee Capital Budget Co-Chair Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak/Mat-Su, says the House version of the bill results from those legacy/anchor additions, which he says is how he would have liked to build the budget: from largest to smallest. Co-Chair Stoltze emphasized that the majority of House additions were for the general obligation bond package carried within House Bill 424.

Ak St Legislature Majority

Ak St Legislature MajorityI believe every Alaskan will benefit from this budget. We were frugal on district priorities but focused on providing hub projects and expanding the statewide reach of the bill. We focused on projects with a federal match that could create jobs for Alaskans and improve our infrastructure, roads, educational opportunities, and safety.
~ Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak/Mat-SuAk St Legislature Majority

Ak St Legislature Majority

Capital Budget totals by House District (in millions)
1 - Ketchikan$52.457M(1.7%)
2 - Sitka/Petersburg/Wrangell$71.316M(2.3%)
3/4 - Juneau Areawide$69.649M(2.2%)
5 - Cordova/Southeast Islands$48.468M(1.5%)
1/5 - Southeast Region$71.858M(2.3%)
6 - Interior Villages$20.260M(.6%)
7/11 - Fairbanks Areawide$278.71M(9%)
12 - Richardson/Glenn Highways$24.482M(.7%)
13/16 - Mat-Su Areawide$167.47M(5%)
17/32 - Anchorage Areawide$563.77M(18%)
33/35 - Kenai Areawide$148.59M(14.5%)
36 - Kodiak$85.762M(2.7%)
37 - Bristol Bay/Aleutians$62.725M(2%)
38 - Bethel$137.75M(4.4%)
36/38 - Southwest Region$300M(9%)
39 - Bering Straits$78.116M(2.5%)
40 - Arctic$98.639M(3.2%)
1/40 - Statewide$1.0349B(33.6%)
Total:$3.0749B(100%)


HB 424 G.O. Bond Projects
Mt. Edgecumbe HS aquatic facility$20M
State Library, Archives & Museum$18.5M
Alakanuk K-12 School$46.5M
Kipnuk K-12 School$49,9M
Kwigillingok K-12 School$32.1M
UAA Mat-Su arts center$23.5M
UAA Sports Arena$60M
UAF Life Sciences Bldg$88M
UAA Kenai housing$16M
UAA Kenai Tech. center$14.5M
UA PWSCC renovation$5M
ADF&G Kodiak Near Island facility$20M
DCC&ED Klawok Voc. Ed. Center$3.2M
Total:$397.2M



The FY 10 Supplemental Operating Budget -
HB 326


Statewide totals(millions)Fund TransfersGF
Unrestricted General$103.2MCBRF$401.617M
Designated General$93.7KPublic Ed. Fund$1.11698B
Other State Funds$3.02MAIDEA Revolving$79K
Federal Receipts$55.6M
Total:$3.0749BTotal:$2.630B
* Includes $75.5M for the Anchorage State Crime Lab and $397.2M in general obligation bonds proposed in HB 424 (figures courtesy Leg. Finance Adjournment Reports)

The Fiscal Year 2010 Supplemental Operating Budget, HB 326, included two significant fund transfers: one fully-repaying the Constitutional Budget Reserve Fund, or CBR; the other placing $1.1 billion into the Public Education Fund to forward-fund FY 2012 K-12 education. Both were pillars of the Majority Caucus platform heading into the 26th Alaska Legislature.


The largest supplemental appropriations were driven by Medicaid cost increases and services - $81.12M, fire suppression activities - $35.37M, inmate health care - $4.65M, and funding the arbitration award to the correctional officers union - $10.35M. We added intent language directing the Dept. of Administration and Dept. of Corrections to take any actions necessary to mitigate the future risk of the arbitration awards 50-percent increase in leave accrual, which we do not endorse. We also asked DoA to refrain, in future negotiations with other bargaining units, from considering the leave accrual levels granted to the correctional officers association.


Supplemental appropriations generally cover unforeseen increases in certain sectors of state government, and cover things like design and engineering services, statewide fleet replacement, minor operations and maintenance, fuel cost increases, and some employee/over-time costs.


The Budget Clarification Project - Truth in Budgeting


A special mention needs to be made for the ongoing Budget Clarification Project undertaken by the Legislative Finance Division, at the direction of the Legislature, spanning The FY 10 and FY 11 budget cycles.


LFD has been working for two years to improve the presentation of the state's budgets, including further defining so-called "other" funds and the following:

  • Re-appropriations
  • Fund transfers and duplicated appropriations, and
  • Fund code re-categorization

LFD secured agreement with the Governor's Office of Management and Budget to review all fund codes, re-distributing them among four categories: unrestricted general funds (UGF,) designated general funds (DGF,) corporate receipts/trust funds/bonds (Other,) and federal receipts (Federal.) LFD found that most of the fund movement and tracking occurred in "other" funds moving to designated general funds, moving some $750 million from other to general fund costs. LFD and the Finance Co-Chairs have said that this is not budget growth, instead re-framing the budget debate to focus on better spending decisions and a better general understanding of budget make-up.


  1. (Source: LFD, The Fiscal Year 2011 Budget: Legislative Fiscal Analyst's Overview of the Governor's Request, http://www.legfin.state.ak.us)



26th Alaska Legislature Budget Authorizations


GFFEDOtherTotal:
FY 10 Authorized Operating Budget:$5.573B$3.091B$500.8M$9.16B
FY 11 Authorized Operating Budget:$5.212B$1.941B$1.105B$8.26B
FY 10 Authorized Capital Budget:$280M$1.138B$40M$1.46B
FY 11 Authorized Capital Budget:$1.489B$1.029B$556M$3.07B
 
FY 10 Authorized Fund Transfers:$3.1B CBRF and SBRF
FY 10 Authorized Fund Transfers$1.6B CBRF and PEF

The 26th Alaska Legislature repaid the state's rainy day savings account, the CBR, placed $1 billion into the Statutory Budget Reserve Fund, inflation-proofed the Permanent Fund - $870M, and forward-funded education for the third time in four years.


The state's principal savings accounts are repaid for the first time in 20 years, with unappropriated revenues still to be counted in July.


All told, we were able to save first, examine our spending, spend wisely, and still propose a capital spending plan that, taking a two-year look, will go to create jobs for Alaskans and build better infrastructure and communities.


There is still work to be done on the budgets, further budget analysis and clarification, but we've set the table for future legislatures to find efficiencies and continue to restrain government growth.


The Department of Revenue's Spring '10 Revised Revenue Forecast calls for TAPS production volumes of 619,000/bpd trading at $77.65, a drop from 650,000/bpd in FY 10. The problem arises when you take a look at their 10-year forecast, where some 500,000/bpd of new oil, under development or under evaluation, is to come on-line. We cannot count on that, or for the price of Alaska North Slope Crude to remain high. For those reasons and others, we cut $488M from the governor's FY 10 capital budget and spent the last two years reigning in the operating growth of state government.


  1. Spring 2010 Dept. of Revenue Forecast
  2. Legislative Finance Division Adjournment Reports
  3. Legislative Finance Division Fiscal Analyst's Overviews of the Governor's Requests



Priority Legislation


Creating the Joint In-State Gasline Development Team - HB369


We have spent the better part of the last three decades looking for ways to monetize, market, and supply our natural gas reserves for in-state use. We've spent more than $250 million performing studies. But the simple fact remains that we're still no closer today to delivering gas to Alaskans than we were in the 80's. House Bill 369 will change that.


HB 369 creates the Joint In-state Gasline Development Team and tasks it with presenting a development plan and financing options to the Legislature by July 2011, with the goal of first gas flowing to Southcentral by 2015.


We're taking the politics out of the in-state gasline by placing Alaska Housing Finance Corporation CEO Dan Fauske at the head of a group that will examine routes, rights-of-way, permitting, delivery points, and different forms of project financing options.


The team includes AHFC CEO Fauske, ANGDA Executive Director Harold Heinze, Governor's Office In-State Gasline Project Coordinator Bob Swenson, DOT&PF Commissioner Leo Von Scheben, and Alaska Railroad Corporation Board Chair John Binkley.


They'll assume the lead role for in-state gas development, and analyze prospective projects and routes that are the most economically feasible, makes natural gas available to residents at the lowest possible cost, allows for the most connectivity along the entire route, and uses state land and existing rights-of-way as much as possible.


The goal is to bring all these assets - plans and designs, permits and rights-of-way, potential gas supply and purchase contracts, detailed project cost estimates, and all other work - together for transfer or sale to the entity best able to complete the project.


We've specifically written language providing the team access to all other information available from state agencies to cut down on duplication of work, provide better cooperation and clear lines of communication.


The Department of Natural Resources will provide AHFC with a right-of-way lease for the project upon completion to further expedite the process and provide potential builders another level of assurance. That assurance also extends to the state's AGIA team, where we've provided sideboards on conflicts of interest and priority; we're not circumventing or subverting AGIA - we're honoring the state's commitment to the AGIA process while at the same time honoring our commitment to Alaskans to provide them with gas to heat their homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses.


ANGDA also benefits from the bill. The bill expands their purpose to include bringing gas to all regions of the state, and allows the Authority to purchase and market gas supply.


The Team will report back to the governor and legislature by December with proposed necessary legislation and provide a progress report on securing letters of intent from gas buyers and sellers, potential builders and operating companies, and definitions of project parameters.


  1. (Related link to HB 369 sponsor statement and documents, including the fiscal analysis)



The Cook Inlet Recovery Act - HB280


Southcentral Alaska residents and businesses are at risk of looming Cook Inlet natural gas supply shortages and a lack of supply options which would allow production overages during light-demand summer days to offset high-demand winter nights. It is under that critical timeline that we passed House Finance Committee Co-Chair Mike Hawker and Speaker Chenault's House Bill 280, the Cook Inlet Recovery Act.


CIRA provides financial incentives, including an income tax credit and 10-year exemption from state land lease fees and rents to owners of new gas storage facilities put into operation before Dec. 31, 2015, and sets standards on minimum size and access requirements for qualifying projects.

Ak St Legislature Majority

Ak St Legislature MajorityIn a few years, the Cook Inlet gas reserves we depend on today will not be enough to meet the demand of Southcentral homes and businesses. Acting now, before there is a crisis, is critical to securing a stable and affordable energy source for our community.

"The Cook Inlet Recovery Act will provide incentives to develop and authority to regulate new gas storage facilities, which are essential to the utility provider's ability to meet peak deliverability on the coldest days. CIRA also enhances existing tax credits for exploring for new gas in the Cook Inlet.

~ Bill Sponsor Rep. Mike HawkerAk St Legislature Majority

Ak St Legislature Majority
HB280 also recognizes the need to spur development and production of new, hard to access, fields by increasing access to the existing incentives for exploration in Cook Inlet.

The industry and economists have been analyzing Southcentral risk for years now, and have recognized the need to provide a legislative framework in addition to regulatory oversight. A key question arising from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska's recent decision to deny a TransCanada subsidiary's proposed gas storage proposal was based on their view that gas storage is outside of their regulatory jurisdiction. CIRA answers this questing by adding specific clauses to RCA's governing statutes that defines their jurisdiction over natural gas storage facilities that provide service to regulated utilities. The bill also changes RCA statutes to force the Commission to evaluate the long and short-term implications of denying gas storage or supply contracts before making a decision on proposed contracts.


  1. (Final bill version)
  2. (HB 280 sectional analysis)



Declaring a State Energy Policy - HB 306


One of the reasons we created the House Special Committee on Energy was to work towards establishing a roadmap for state, local and municipal governments to work within as we consider new energy infrastructure, generation and delivery projects. The Energy Committee spent the interim between the first and second sessions traveling the state and meeting with stakeholders to pencil out ideas to include in a state energy policy. The result is House Bill 306.


The policy will help us turn the corner from funding and studying every energy project brought forward by focusing on four main goals:

  • Promote energy efficiency and conservation
  • Promote economic development through cost-effective, long-term sources of energy for communities statewide
  • Support energy research, education and workforce development
  • Support coordination of governmental functions, streamlining of regulatory processes and overall coordination of efforts at all levels of government

The bill's declaration states: "The State of Alaska recognizes that the state's economic prosperity is dependent on available, reliable, and affordable residential, commercial, and industrial energy to supply the state's electric, heating, and transportation needs. The state also recognizes that worldwide supply and demand for fossil fuels and concerns about global climate change will affect the price of fossil fuels consumed by Alaskans and exported from the state to other markets. In establishing a state energy policy, the state further recognizes the immense diversity of the state's geography, cultures, and resource availability."


The Committee worked with a diverse group of 16 stakeholders, including: Ralph Anderson - Bristol Bay Native Corp., Jason Brune - Resource Development Council, Denali Daniels - Denali Commission, John Davies - Alaska Cold Climate Housing Research Center, Scott Goldsmith - ISER, Caitlin Higgins - Alaska Conservation Alliance, Gwen Holdmann - Alaska Center for Energy & Power, Meera Kohler - Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Marilyn Leland - Alaska Power Authority, Ron Miller - Energy Consultant, Bob Pawlowski - Denali Commission, Bill Popp - Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, Chris Rose - Renewable Energy Alaska Project, Stacy Schubert - Municipality of Anchorage, Robert Venables - Southeast Conference, Kathie Wasserman - Alaska Municipal League.


Creating the state energy policy is one of the first steps to meeting the state's current and future energy needs. The stakeholders and committee considered regional balance and fairness, with an eye towards a policy that could work for both rural and urban Alaska.


HB 306 creates the policy within Alaska Statute Title 44, State Government, following the Declaration of a state economic development policy, and a state mineral policy.


  1. (HB 306 sponsor statement and materials)



Resource Development


AIDEA Bonding Authority - HB 90


The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, or AIDEA, is the state's semiindependent project financing and investment agency. AIDEA promotes, develops and advances economic growth projects, providing grants and bonds.


House Bill 90 amends the Authority's governing statutes, exempting conduit and refunding revenue bonds from the $400,000,000 maximum amount issued per 12-month period. It also provides better confidentiality of records and information, which AIDEA and project developers have called for in the past.


The conduit revenue bond proceeds finance the acquisition or construction of projects that promote economic development in Alaska, and are payable solely by the project developer and related parties from revenue generated by the project. Refunding bonds refinance existing bonds with the proceeds of new bonds carrying more favorable terms, like lower interest rates.


In both cases, the bonds do not increase the amount of AIDEA's outstanding debt, but still count against the Authority's 12-month aggregate under current state law.


HB 90 also re-instates AIDEA's ability to issue bonds that existed before a July 1, 2007, statutory sunset. The $10,000,000 development project cap is still in place. The bill also clarifies Authority statutes to allow AIDEA to use proceeds from refunding bonds to fund reserves and finance the costs and expenses associated with the refunding bonds.


  1. (HB 90 documents)



Separating Oil & Gas Taxes - SB 305


Oil and natural gas are taxed at one rate, based on the BTU equivalent value of both commodities, under current state law. Senate Bill 305 separates - or de-couples - gas from oil, which is currently trading at values 20 times higher. The U.S. Department of Energy expects similar trading ranges over the next decade.


Lower-value gas dilutes the revenues generated by higher-value oil. Acting before the commencement of TransCanada's AGIA-compliant Open Season on May 1 could save the state an estimate $1.5-2 billion per year once gas begins flowing through a pipeline thanks to AGIA's tax lock-in provisions. AGIA locks Alaska's current gas tax structure for the first ten years of commercial production.


SB 305 separates oil and natural gas in calculating their production tax value to protect the state's long-term financial interests. The bill doesn't affect the tax rate (25%) or the progressivity provisions in ACES.


  1. (SB 305 documents)


Cook Inlet Oil & Gas Tax Credits - SB 309


Gas storage and regulatory changes carried within the Cook Inlet Recovery Act, HB 280, can work in tandem with the tax credits and incentives for the Inlet carried by Senate Bill 309. The two-pronged approach to spurring Cook Inlet development is necessary with dwindling known wells in production and the high cost of new exploration and development.


SB 309 amends and extends the exploration and development incentive tax credit enacted in 2003 for operators and owners directly engaged in the Cook Inlet area. The bill makes five significant changes:

  • Expands the credit's application to in-field development drilling
  • Increases the qualified capital expenses and investment services credit to 25%, from 10%
  • Removes the 50% single year applicability cap
  • Extends the credit sunset date from Jan. 2013 to Jan. 2020
  • Establishes a special production tax credit for the first three wells drilled into the pre-Tertiary strata of Cook Inlet with a jack-up rig.

The problem with the 2003 tax credit was that, while it was modestly successful in stimulating new drilling, it did not incentivize in-field development - where the Department of Natural Resources has projected most of the unproduced needed domestic supply resides.


  1. (SB 309 documents)



Restoring Voter Trust


Open & Transparent Initiative Act - HB 36


Restoring Alaskan's faith in the election process doesn't just come in the form of omnibus ethics legislation or candidate campaign finance reform. The effort has to include the voter initiative process, where recent attempts have been made to circumvent the system by some, and exploit loopholes by others.


House Bill 36, the Open and Transparent Initiative Act, brings the same level of disclosure to the initiative process as individual candidate campaigns and elected officials and enhances the citizen initiative process. Alaskans deserve to know who is funding and supporting voter initiatives in the same way they do candidates for public office. The bill carries significant reforms, including:


  • Requiring an individual, person, non-group entity, or group that contributes a total of $500 or more to a group organized for the principal purpose of influencing a bill proposed for inclusion on the ballot to report the contribution or contributions to APOC no later than 30 days after the contribution is made.
  • Provides that each person other than an individual shall register with APOC before making an expenditure in support of or in opposition to a proposed initiatives bill filed with the Lt. Governor.
  • Expands the meaning of "proposition" to include an initiative proposal application filed with the Lt. Governor.
  • Establishes new reporting requirements for initiative committees, persons, groups, or non-group entities making certain contributions or expenditures in support of or in opposition to an initiative proposal application filed with the Lt. Governor or an initiative that has been approved for placement on the ballot
  • Expands the definition of "contribution" applicable to state election campaigns to include certain purchases, payments, promises, or obligations to pay, loans or loan guarantees, deposits or gifts of money, good, or services for which a charge ordinarily made that is made for the purpose of supporting or opposing an initiatives proposal application filed with the Lt. Governor.
  • Expands the definition of "expenditure" applicable to state election campaigns to include an initiative proposal application filed with the Lt. Governor.
  • Adds "single subject" confinements to initiatives, similar to proposed legislation.
  • Requires that each initiative petition contains a copy of the proposed initiative bill.
  • Requires the Lt. Governor to hold at least two hearings in each judicial district of the state and provide reasonable notice of each hearing.
  • Requires an election pamphlet to be prepared and mailed to each household for any special election at which a ballot proposition is scheduled to appear on the ballot, containing the full text of the proposition, ballot title and summary, statement of the costs to the state for implementation, neutral summary, statements in support and opposition, and any additional information the Lt. Gov. deems necessary.
  • Requires that a standing committee of the legislature review initiatives that the Lt. Governor has approved for placement on the ballot

  1. (HB 36 documents)



Campaign Disclaimer & Disclosure - SB 284


The New Year brought a new concern in protecting Alaska's election process. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that corporations have the same protected speech under the Constitution as a person, thus nullifying corporate bans on campaign expenditures.


The ruling did nothing to harm the state's direct corporate campaign expenditure ban, but it did open up a potential Pandora's Box where corporations, unions, and associations could spend unlimited amounts of money through independent expenditures on campaigns without having to disclose or provide disclaimers on information presented before voters.


Senate Bill 284 addresses that reporting lapse. The bill brings corporations and labor unions under the same requirements as persons, mandating they report their contributions and expenditures in elections, providing full disclosure to voters. The bill also requires disclaimers that identify the communicating person's three largest contributors, the person's address, principal place of business, and principal officer on all audio, video and print communications.


Passage of SB 284 ensures that corporations and labor unions will be held to the same, strict and rigid reporting requirements as a person when making independent expenditures; retaining Alaskan's trust in the upcoming fall election, and all future elections.


  1. (SB 284 documents)



Valuing our Visitor Industry


Cruise Passenger Vessel Tax Reduction - SB 312


The decline in cruise ship passengers over the past two seasons has significant economic impacts on Southeast Alaska communities and businesses. Cruise passenger numbers have declined from more than a million two years ago, to less than 840,000 last summer. Senate Bill 312 lowers the voter initiative-created Commercial Passenger Vessel Tax from $46 to $34.50, which follows the governor's proposed tax level agreed upon by the industry to drop their law suit against the state.


SB 312 also brings parity to the tax by providing $5 to up to seven ports of call, while still allowing Ketchikan and Juneau to levy their own taxes.


The bill leaves the original intent of the voter initiative in place, relating to water and wastewater discharge, onboard Ocean Rangers, and monitoring.


The gaming tax from vessels will now be deposited into a gaming and gambling subaccount.


  1. (SB 312 documents)



Rental Car Agency Fee Disclosure - SB 287


Alaska rental car agencies will have to separately list charges and fees, similar to laws in 30 other states, thanks to passage of Senate Bill 287. The bill means charges for the cost of licensing, concessions, and airport or facility-related expenses passed on to consumers in the past will have to be listed separately and clearly identified. The so-called "cost recovery fees" will be subject to full disclosure and transparency, helping consumers navigate their rental car agreements.


  1. (SB 287 documents)



Supporting Alaska's Tourism Marketing Efforts


We made two significant contributions to the Alaska Travel Industry Association this session: $5 million to ATIA's budget by amending the operating budget, and a $2 million grant in the capital budget for a national television campaign to promote the state.


ATIA had worked with members in both bodies, including Rep. Charisse Millett, to sustainably fund the Association's budget through a member tax credit. Though that plan did not pass, we backstopped the Association's budget, allowing it to continue to market Alaska.


  1. Legislative Finance Division Adjournment Reports



Bills by Topic


Protecting Victims & Alaska Families


HB 6 - Cruelty to Animals, Lynn

HB 6 outlaws the practice of bestiality in Alaska, and allows law enforcement to use this information to take steps to prevent violent crimes against children and vulnerable adults. The bill also classifies such violations as a Class C felony, and adds animal cruelty as an aggravating factor in felony convictions.


HB 50 - Limit Overtime For Registered Nurses, P.Wilson

HB 50 prohibits mandatory overtime for nurses in Alaska hospitals, in certain situations. The bill amends state law to say nurses can work up to 14 consecutive hours then require a rest period of 10 hours, and that nurses cannot be forced to work more than 80 hours in a 14-day period.


HB 98 - Alcohol: Minor Consuming/Local Option, Ramras

HB 98 fixes the 25th Alaska Legislature's HB 359 by closing a loophole that opened in repeat minor consuming cases, now covering all repeat offenders.


HB 114 - Use State Trans. Facility for Disaster Aid, Ramras

HB 114 enables the governor to use state transportation assets and infrastructure to provide aid to Alaska communities in times of economic emergency, since declaring a natural disaster doesn't apply, such as the situation in Emmonak last winter.


HB 190 - Children's Trust, Fairclough

HB 190 enhances the Alaska Children's Trust Board of Trustees ability to invest in programs aimed at preventing child abuse in Alaska. The bill changes the Trust to an endowment model, using a rolling three-year average of five percent of the market value to determine the amount eligible for grant awards. Grant awards will be deposited into a grant account, allowing the Board to have a more predictable funding stream.


HB 238 - Landlord Rejection of Occupant/Sublease, Millett

HB 238 removed "the number of persons under 18 years of age in the household" as reasonable grounds that a landlord may use to refuse consent to a lease or sublease for a potential tenant, and upholds familial status as a protected class under federal fair housing laws.


HB 262 - Motorcycle/Scooter Awareness Month, Keller, Herron

Designates the month of May as Motorcycle & Motor Scooter Awareness Month.


HB 277 - Emergency Use Of Epinephrine, P.Wilson, Lynn

HB 277 adopts training programs for the possession and emergency administration of Epinephrine.


HB 324 - Failure to Appear; Release Procedures, Rules by Request of the governor

HB 324 revises state bail statutes, requiring persons charged with an unclassified or Class A felony and certain other crimes to bear the burden of proving conditions or bail amounts are sufficient enough to protect the public. The bill also prohibits a court from releasing a defendant found guilty of a sexual felony pending imposition of a sentence or an appeal.


HB 334 - Military Deployment and Child Custody, Thomas

HB 334 provides clear directives to the courts concerning military members in a child custody battle; provides specific rights for the military parents in terms of visitation, expedited hearings, and says a court cannot use a military deployment to deny custody and upholds the child's-best-interest test.


HB 381 - Self Defense, Neuman

HB 381 expands the rights of Alaska citizens to use deadly force to defend themselves in places they are legally allowed to be.


HCR 20 - Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Fairclough

Designates annually the month of April 2010 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Alaska.


SB 110 - Preservation of Evidence, French

SB 110 requires that biological evidence in murder and sexual assault cases is properly retained while cases are unsolved and during the period after conviction that an offender is imprisoned or required to register as a sex offender. The bill also provides for procedures for post-conviction DNA tests.


SB 222 - Sex Offenses; Offender Registry; Sentencing, Rules by request of the governor

SB 222 is omnibus legislation covering harassment, sexual offenses, the sex offender registry, electronic distribution of child pornography, human trafficking, sentencing and probation. The bill amends and strengthens 23 sections of the state's crime laws to better protect innocent Alaskans and victims, and provide harsher punishments for those who would intentionally do harm.


SB 230 - Anchorage State Crime Lab financing

House Finance Committee Capital Budget Co-Chair Bill Stoltze amended $75,750,000 into SB 230 to fund the sought-after Anchorage State Crime Lab. Funding via certificates of participation was introduced through HB 426, but the capital funding, using general funds, pays for the project now, without adding to outstanding debt in the future.




Advocating for State's Rights


HB 186 - AK Firearms Exempt From Fed. Regulation, Kelly

HB 186, the Alaska Firearms Freedom Act, exempts firearms, accessories and ammunition manufactured and retained in the state from all federal firearm controls.


HJR 40 - Cook Inlet/Kachemak Beluga Population, Millett

HJR 40 opposes the designation of critical habitat for beluga whales in Cook Inlet.


HJR 45 - Oppose Federal Cap and Trade Legislation, Stoltze

HJR 45 urges the U.S. Congress not to enact any version of cap and trade legislation, which would negatively impact Alaskans and instead enact legislation that encourages states to establish and develop their own renewable energy portfolio.


HJR 47 - Small Vessel Cargo Exemption, Johansen

HJR 47 urges the United States Coast Guard to amend its regulations to allow small vessels, and those constructed of aluminum, to carry fuel, cargo, and passengers simultaneously.


HJR 49 - Opposing EPA Clean Air Act Regulations, Stoltze

HJR 49 opposes the Environmental Protection Agency's imposition of climate regulations that would harm Alaska's economy and livelihoods of residents.


HJR 51 - Proposed Fed. Mortgage Licensing Regs, Keller

HJR 51 urges the U.S. Congress to change the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE) to make exceptions for unique Alaska properties that do not fit what the federal government sees as eligible for conventional loans.


HCR 22 - Alaska Northern Waters Task Force, Community & Regional Affairs

HCR 22 creates the Alaska Northern Waters Task Force, the ANWTF, which would bring together legislators from Northwest Alaska, Arctic community leaders, and representatives from key federal agencies to form a joint federal and state entity to coordinate interests in regards to the development of Alaska waters. The group would focus on Arctic transportation routes, national security and resource development.




Transportation, Infrastructure and Lands


HJR 42 - Const. Am: Transportation Fund, Transportation

HJR 42 would have proposed to put a constitutional amendment before voters on whether or not to create the Alaska Transportation Infrastructure Fund, a dedicated fund that would fund and execute Capital Transportation Projects. Did not go past Senate Finance.


HJR 26 - Statehood/ANCSA Land Survey Funding, Fairclough

HJR 26 urges the U.S. Congress to adequately fund land surveys granted by the Statehood Act and ANCSA in Alaska to issue patents to the State and ANCSA Native Corporations. The federal government is responsible for preparing these land surveys, but does not adequately fund the Bureau of Land Management.


HB 210 - Izembek State Game Refuge Land Exchange, Edgmon

HB 210 lays the groundwork, after three decades, for exchanging 43,000 acres of state Alaska Peninsula Wildlife Refuge lands in exchange for 206 acres of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge for a road corridor allowing access to the Cold Bay airport for King Cove residents to alleviate health and safety concerns. Also designates the Kinzarof Lagoon as part of the Izembek State Refuge.


HB 251 - Vehicle Liens/Towing/Storage/Transport, Ramras

HB 251 changes the priority in which payments can be given when adjudicating liens to towing companies who provide a public service, and helps reduce their business risk.


HCR 2 - In-State Gas Pipeline, Ramras

HCR 2 urges the governor to take action facilitating the development of a smalldiameter gas pipeline by securing permits, rights of way, engineering specifications and other approvals, and bundling them for sale to interested private sector pipeline companies. It also supports the export license renewal for the Kenai LNG facility.




Honoring our Veterans


HB 24 - Procurement Preference for Veterans, Fairclough, Gatto

HB 24 expands the state's bidder preference laws to include businesses solely or majority-owned by Veterans.


HB 226 - Naming Veterans' Way in Mat-Su, Keller

HB 226 consolidates Bogard, Seldon and East Colony Schools Roads as Veterans' Way in the Mat-Su Valley.


HB 274 - Establishing Purple Heart Day, Dahlstrom

HB 274 honors Alaska veterans by designating August 7 of every year as Purple Heart Day in Alaska. Signed into law on March 22, 2010.


HJR 16 - Disabled Veterans Procurement Preference, Gatto

HJR 16 urges federal agencies to fully implement the three-percent federal procurement requirement for veterans wishing to start businesses.


HJR 53 - Honor And Remember Flag ®, Rls by Request of Military & Veterans' Affairs

HJR 53 urges the U.S. Congress to pass H.R. 1034, designating the Honor and Remember Flag ® as an official symbol to recognize and honor members of the U.S. Armed Forces who died in the line of duty.




Education


HB 70 - Alaska Grown Agricultural Products, Gatto

HB 70 establishes the Farm-to-School program within the Department of Natural Resources, working jointly with the Department of Education & Early Development, to allow school districts to authorize or operate a garden or farm for educational purposes.


HB 360 - Youth Academy: Student Records, Dahlstrom

HB 360 provides opportunities for at-risk students to enroll in the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy, and protects records in the exchange.


HB 424 - G.O. Bonds: Educ./Library/Research Facil., Finance

HB 424 places a ballot question before voters to approve general obligation bonds to pay for the design and construction of a number of education and research projects across the state. This includes three rural schools, improvements to schools and University of Alaska college campus facilities, a community arena at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and the Life Sciences facility at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The proposed offering is $397.2M.


SB 237 - School Construction Debt Reimbursement, Education

SB 237 creates a stream of funding that can be used for Regional Education Attendance Area school construction, and changes the process of funding for such schools to come to par with schools funded in municipal areas, using a 70/30 participation model.




Fiscal Policy & the Economy


HJR 45 - Oppose Federal Cap and Trade Legislation, Stoltze

HJR 45 urges the U.S. Congress not to enact any version of cap and trade legislation, which would negatively impact Alaskans and instead enact legislation that encourages states to establish and develop their own renewable energy portfolio.


HB 363 - AIDEA Membership, Community & Regional Affairs

HB 363 changes the make-up of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority. The bill adds two members - bringing the total to 7 - restructuring it to put private sector strategic leadership at the helm of the state's development financing corporation. The change will allow AIDEA's board to form subcommittees and represent a broader spectrum of industries and regions in the state.


HB 184 - Debt Authorization for University, Kelly

HB 184 adjusts the bond debt cap for the University of Alaska to reflect today's construction prices, increasing the cap to $2.5 million.


HB 24 - Procurement Preference for Veterans, Fairclough, Gatto

HB 24 expands the state's bidder preference laws to include businesses solely, or majority-owned by Veterans.


HR 16 - Mining/Processing of Rare Earth Elements, Resources

HR 16 urges the U.S. Congress to expeditiously pass H.R. 4866 and recommends continued exploration of rare earth mineral deposits in Alaska. The bill before congress, the RESTART Act, would re-establish a competitive rare earth elements production industry, allowing our country to begin meeting its own supply demands.


HR 17 - Export License Extension for Kenai LNG Plant

HR 17 urges the U.S. Department of Energy to expedite approval of the Kenai LNG Plant's export license through 2013. The plant currently provides more than 60 highpaying and family-sustaining jobs to Peninsula residents and has returned more than $130,000,000 to the City of Kenai and Kenai Peninsula Borough in taxes and revenues. The plant also ensures a stable supply of natural gas flowing through Southcentral Alaska.




Business


HCR 21 - Economic Development Planning Commission, Community & Regional Affairs

HCR 21 creates the Economic Planning Commission in the legislature, to develop and recommend visions and strategies that will encourage economic development in the state through recommendations and proposed legislation. The EDPC will report back to the governor and legislature Jan. 30, 2011, and terminate June 30, 2012.


HB 354 - AK Capstone Avionics Revolving Loan Fund, Keller

HB 354 expands the Capstone Avionics Loan Program, enacted in 2008, to include leased aircraft, closing an unforeseen gap in the original legislation. A safety study commissioned by the FAA showed a 47-percent decrease in accident rates during the equipment's pilot program. CALP loans cover up to 80-percent of the cost of converting to Capstone avionics; can last 10 years, with a borrowing rate of fourpercent.


HB 344 - Salmon Product Development Tax Credit, Thomas

HB 344 extends the deadline for salmon processors in Alaska to receive the SPD tax credit four years, through Dec.31, 2015. The bill also adds ice-making machines to the list of equipment eligible to receive the credit. The program allows applicants to recover 50-percent of the cost through a credit to their fisheries business tax.


HB 70 - Alaska Grown Agricultural Products, Gatto

HB 70 establishes the Farm-to-School program within the Department of Natural Resources, working jointly with the Department of Education & Early Development, to allow school districts to authorize or operate a garden or farm for educational purposes.


HB 315 - Public Accounting, Labor & Commerce

HB 315 updates Alaska's uniform accountancy statutes to allow mobility and portability for Certified Public Accountants and accounting firms who do business in Alaska, but are not principally located here. The bill also amends statutes to allow non-CPAs to own a minority interest in an accounting business.


HB 416 - Prudent Management of Institutional Funds, Labor & Commerce

HB 416 allows the state to adopt the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, or UPMIFA. The Act replaces obsolete rules and concepts relating to the investment and management of endowments and charitable funds. UPMIFA provides clear definitions on prudent practices and standards, allowing nonprofits and volunteer trustees to better meet their fiduciary responsibilities.


HB 108 - Property Foreclosures, Execution, Trust Deeds, Ramras

HB 108 streamlines and simplifies the foreclosure language in Alaska statutes, providing for a more open, accessible and fair auction process, benefiting all parties.






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